After building your brand online, you may start opening up to sponsored content and branded goods in exchange for your social media posts. Monetizing your social media platforms is a popular method for social media influencers or brands to earn money and potentially free goods and services while posting online from their accounts. With restrictions for how federal employees can post online, it can be uncharted territory for federal employees who wish to monetize their social media platforms.
Accepting Payment for Social Posts
Federal employees are not outright prohibited from accepting payment for posts online; however, they need to ensure that these posts cannot be translated into a statement of their position or from their federal agency. As agreed to in the Office of Government Ethics’ Government Ethics and Social Media Standards of Conduct, federal employees cannot receive payment regarding posts or statements about their employment and position.
What Content Can I Receive Payment For?
If you still want to pursue monetizing your social media accounts, you need to make sure your content does not relate to your position as a federal employee or any of your assigned duties. This means that your cooking blog, your TikTok where you talk about popular movies, and your Instagram where you post fashionable styles are all eligible to be monetized without penalty from your federal employer. Federal employees can receive compensation for any content posted on their social media accounts that are not connected to their federal employment.
What Happens If I Receive Payment for a Post About My Federal Employment?
If you do break the rules and accept payment for a post that relates to your federal employment or positional duties, you can be subject to a conduct investigation and ultimately disciplined by your employer. Because of the nature of this violation of the Standards of Conduct, you are also responsible for breaking the ethical code that all Federal Employees must follow. If you knowingly violate this rule, contact an experienced federal employment attorney to get ahead of your conduct investigation.
Award-Winning Federal Employment Attorneys
Monetizing your social media accounts is a big step in your online career. As a federal employee, it is your responsibility to remain cautious about your social media activity and take proactive steps to not violate ethical codes or the Standards of Conduct.
Are you a federal employee with an online brand seeking advice on monetizing your account? Call our award-winning team of federal employees at (202) 350-3881 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.